James Erskine Slammed Cricket Australia For Handling Ball Tampering Issue Badly
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James Erskine Slammed Cricket Australia For Handling Ball Tampering Issue Badly

The ball-tampering row has put question marks on Australian cricket team’s culture. (Photo: Youtube screengrab)
The ball-tampering row has put question marks on Australian cricket team’s culture. (Photo: Youtube screengrab)

James Erskine, David Warner’s manager slammed Cricket Australia for handling the ball-tampering issue badly. Ever since the Australian opening batsman Cameron Bancroft revealed that more than three people had knowledge about the Sandpaper Gate, the scandal has once again become a talking point in the cricketing world.

Cricket Australia’s (CA) Integrity team has reached out to the right-handed batsman to see if he has more information to give on the issue.

James Erskine (PC: smh.com.au)
James Erskine (PC: smh.com.au)

James Erskine: The Whole Ball-Tampering Issue Was Badly Handed But Eventually The Truth Will Come Out

Three years since the Cape Town Test, Cameron Bancroft, while not having taken any names, has seemingly admitted that Australia’s bowling attack consisting of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, and Mitchell Marsh knew he was scuffing the ball up with sandpaper.

James Erskine also asserted that all three of the indicted players were treated ‘despicably’. James Erskine added that had any of them sued Cricket Australia for the investigation, they would have had their punishment reduced because of the ‘whole truth’.

“The report that was done, they didn’t interview all the players. The whole thing was so badly handled, it was a joke. But eventually, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, will come out and I know the whole truth. But it doesn’t serve any purpose because the Australian public over a period of time got to dislike the Australian team because they didn’t behave particularly well,” James Erskine told Sydney Morning Herald.

Cameron Bancroft photographed at the Riverside Ground in Chester-le-Street.
James Erskine Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Smith, Warner, and Bancroft were treated despicably. The fact of the matter is they did the wrong thing but the punishment didn’t fit the crime. I think if one or two of those players had taken legal action they would have won because of what the truth was,” James Erskine added.

In March 2018, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera trying to change the condition of the ball using sandpaper in a Test match against South Africa in Cape Town. The incident later went on to be labelled as the ‘Sandpaper Gate’ and is considered as one of the darkest moments in the history of Australian cricket.

Cameron Bancroft Said It Was Probably Self Explanatory About Bowlers Awareness That The Ball Was Tampered With

Cameron Bancroft, who is playing county cricket in Durham, said it was ‘probably self-explanatory’ whether the bowlers were aware that the ball was being tampered with.

“Yeah, look, all I wanted to do was to be responsible and accountable for my own actions and part. Yeah, obviously what I did benefits bowlers and the awareness around that, probably, is self-explanatory,” Bancroft said to the Guardian interviewer Donald McRae as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

“I guess one thing I learned through the journey and being responsible is that’s where the buck stops [with Bancroft himself]. Had I had better awareness I would have made a much better decision,” he added.

David Warner and Steve Smith, Reuters
David Warner and Steve Smith, Reuters. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

When he was further stressed, Bancroft replied: “Uh… yeah, look, I think, yeah, I think it’s pretty probably self-explanatory.”

On the third day of the match, Cameron Bancroft was caught on camera trying to alter the condition of the ball. As soon as the clip was shown on television, it went viral on social media and the entire cricketing fraternity condemned the act. After the conclusion of the day’s play, Cameron Bancroft and then Australia skipper Steve Smith admitted that they did tamper with the ball.

David Warner’s involvement in the act was also confirmed. Australia went on to lose the match and Cricket Australia took some bold calls as they first removed Steve Smith and David Warner as the captain and vice-captain of the side. Later, the Australian cricket board handed a one-year ban to the tainted duo, while Cameron Bancroft was given a nine-month suspension. Australia coach Darren Lehmann also resigned after the episode.